It's going to be a busy travel season this Thanksgiving 2013. Airlines for America, the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, is projecting that 25.1 million passengers will fly during the Thanksgiving travel period.
A4A predicted the travel rate for the 12 day travel period for Thanksgiving. A4A expects the number of passengers traveling from Friday, Nov. 22 through Tuesday, Dec. 3 to increase by 1.5 percent, or 31,000 travelers per day, from 2012. To meet demand, airline are adding seats. Planes are expected to be more than 85 percent full on the busiest travel days, which are Wednesday, Nov. 27 (2.42 million passengers), Sunday, Dec. 1 (2.56 million passengers) and Monday, Dec. 2 (2.36 million passengers).
This year's travelers number would surpass last year's number of 24.7 million. There is expected to be 31,000 more passengers per day during the 12 day period that last year.
A4A also reported that the 10 largest U.S. airlines have been improving financially over the years, which has allowed them to improve the customer experience.
"The good news for customers is that air travel costs less in real dollars today than in 2000, airlines are delivering strong on-time and baggage performance," said John Heimlich, A4A Vice President and Chief Economist. "More seats are returning to the marketplace to accommodate growing demand as carriers are increasing the number of available seats for Thanksgiving travel by roughly 2 percent."